CPC Plant Profile: Palo de Jazmin
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Plant Profile

Palo de Jazmin (Styrax portoricensis)

close up of Styrax portoricensis Photo Credit: Luis Rivera
Description
  • Global Rank: G1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Styracaceae
  • State: PR
  • Nature Serve ID: 144982
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 12/01/2021

Styrax portoricensis was described in 1892 from specimens collected in 1885 from the Sierra de Naguabo and the Sierra de Yabucoa of Puerto Rico. Specimens were subsequently collected in 1935 and 1954 in the Luquillo mountains. At the time that it was listed as endangered, only one plant was known to exist in the wild. Two additional plants have been reintroduced. S. portoricensis is an evergreen tree growing up to 10-12m tall. The upper sides of its leaves are shiny dark green. The undersides are pale green and sparsely covered with tiny scales. The white petals have silvery scales on the inside and the fruits, which are pale reddish brown, produce just one seed each. (USFWS 1995)

Updates
  • 09/30/2020
  • Reintroduction

Four new sites were established, some in wild habitat and some at botanical gardens and arborita. (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

  • 09/30/2020
  • Seed Collection

In 1999, 66 fruits were collected and planted in the nursery at the Caribbean National Forest. Only 17 seedlings survived to plantable height (12-36 inches).

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to Puerto Rico. Very rare in the Luquillo Mountains; historically, found at Sierra de Naguabo and Yabucoa and near El Verde, also along Rio Espiritu Santo in the Carite (Guavate) Forest. Only one individual known at present.

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Forestry practices (e.g. plantation establishment and selective cutting) Trail maintenance Collection Hurricanes

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

24 plants (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

In 1999, 66 fruits were collected and planted in the nursery at the Caribbean National Forest. Only 17 seedlings survived to plantable height (12-36 inches). Four new sites were established, some in wild habitat and some at botanical gardens and arborita. (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat change in the Caribbean National Forest often occurs more due to natural disturbances (e.g. hurricanes) than by management activities. The Forest has an Emergency Contingency Plan to deal yearly with the hurricane season. In case of a hurricane condition there are guidelines established to protect resources before, during and after a hurricane attack. The most typical damages to vegetation during these events are landslides, and acute mortality due to uprooting, defoliation or breakage of canopy or branches. (Luis Rivera, pers. comm.)

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Habitat requirements Reproductive biology Ecology

Joie Goodman and Julissa Roncal
  • 01/01/2010

Further propagation and reintroduction

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Styrax portoricensis
Authority Krug & Urban
Family Styracaceae
CPC Number 4161
ITIS 23874
USDA STPO3
Common Names Palo de Jazmin
Associated Scientific Names Styrax portoricensis
Distribution Luquillo mountains of eastern Puerto Rico.
State Rank
State State Rank
Puerto Rico S1
Habitat

Occurs in a montane forest type called palo colorado. It is an evergreen forest type, described as an upland swamp, found at elevations greater than 600m. These forests are found on somewhat protected intermediate slopes and valleys, though high winds can occur at times. They do not have high plant diversity. Some of the common species in palo colorado forest are Cyrilla racemiflora (common name palo colorado for which the association is named), Calcyogonium squamulosum, and Micropholis garcinifolia.

Ecological Relationships

Unknown

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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